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Civil activists exposing alleged pedophile ring released amid pressure

AT News

KABUL: Two civil society activists who were arrested by the intelligence operatives have been released, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) confirmed. The release made following criticisms made by top domestic and foreign officials.

Naim Nazari deputy of AIHRC said that the detained civil society members, Musa Mahmoudi and his colleague, Ehsanullah Hamidi were freed on Wednesday morning.

These two civil society activists for southeastern Logar province were arrested by the intelligence forces after sharing a report of sexual abuse against school children in the province.   

In a video clip released by NDS, they were apologized, saying that their information were “incorrect and incomplete”.

But, the arrest was criticized by a number of national and international human rights commission and as well as some representatives of foreign countries in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a tweet said that he ordered the NDS to stop preceding the case and let the Attorney General Office and AIHRC to investigate it. “The protection of civil society and human rights defenders is the sole responsibility of the security forces,” Ghani said.

The US ambassador to Kabul, John Bass has expressed concerns in a tweet regarding arrest of these two civil activists, saying that “deeply disturbed by these Soviet-style tactics of the NDS Afghanistan. It’s appalling to coerce confessions from civil society activists whose goal is to protect Afghan children.”

 The Netherland embassy in Kabul said, “We urge the immediate release of these human rights defenders from NDS detention.”

“Seriously concerned about the illegal detention of human rights defenders, Mahmudi and Hamidi,” said the German envoy for Afghanistan, Peter Prügel.

Moreover, the Chief Exertive Office in a statement on Tuesday has condemned the detention and said that the issue would be discussed with the security agencies to prevent the repetition of such acts.   

The Britain Newspaper, Guardian has quoted Mahmoudi as saying that over 500 children have been raped or sexually abused by the school teachers and head teachers in Logar.

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